To the Editor:
Thank you for your comments. The Halls Road Master Plan includes zoning language for establishing a village district along Halls Road. The town’s consultant, BSC Group, took three months to create it. They started with existing town zoning regulations, worked closely with the HRIC zoning subcommittee, and consulted with the town’s zoning enforcement officer (ZEO). This was distributed among the HRIC on August 16th asking for their reactions, suggestions, or changes by September 9th. No suggestions to change the regulations were made about the document at that point. On September 13th the Halls Road Village District rezoning proposal was recorded as submitted by Tim Griswold for the Town of Old Lyme to the Zoning Board. At this point the document was available to the public by request. The October 12th presentation further explained the intent of the document. During the meeting, the legal council for zoning said he had some comments and corrections, and the ZEO said, due to the lateness of the evening, he would get the comments from him and forward them to the HRIC. We expect to get these in the coming week.
We have had other comments and concerns about the document which are important to address. Your point about the Flo Gris’ abutment was well taken and on the list to resolve. NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE NEEDED CHANGES! This process is far from over, because it is key that the new village district becomes the best it can possibly be.
This is not one small special permit for an individual property: it is an entire new district. It is meant to address the many challenges we face in the 21st century. The car culture of the 1960s gives way to the walkable town center. Internet commerce has nearly replaced all but service-based retail. It is complex; there are plenty of details to address. As you said, it would be a mistake to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It’s time to further develop the proposal to address the things still needing attention.
We would welcome you and others to contribute solutions for any issues you can anticipate that will help the town’s Halls Road Master Plan become a reality.
Now is the time to make the needed changes to this document to ensure that the future Halls Road is a vibrant area focused on the needs of Old Lyme.
Chair, Halls Road Improvements Committee
CT Examiner responds: To date, the actual regulatory changes — 61 pages — proposed by the Halls Road Improvements Committee are not available online, are not included with link above, and are only available online from our own site here.